Blue Jays Decline Options On Kevin Gregg

The Blue Jays have declined options on right-hander Kevin Gregg, making him a free agent, according to a team press release.  Toronto held options of $4.5MM for 2011 or $8.75MM across the next two years.  The reliever will instead receive a buyout of $750K.

In his first year north of the border, Gregg turned in a 3.51 ERA with 8.8 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9.  MLBTR learned last week that the 32-year-old will be a Type B free agent.  Jordan Bastian of tweets that the Blue Jays will likely offer him arbitration in order to land a compensatory draft pick if he declines and goes elsewhere.

Our own Ben Nicholson-Smith recently compared Gregg to a trio of relievers from last winter's free agent class: Brandon Lyon, Fernando Rodney, and Jose Valverde.  All three had similar contract years to Gregg and all three secured multi-year deals worth upwards of $11MM.

34 Responses to Blue Jays Decline Options On Kevin Gregg Leave a Reply

  1. Does this mean they have no closer, right? As a Twins fan, I sure hope they aren’t thinking about giving fellow Canadian Jeese Crain that shot to be a closer that he’s looking for.

    • patrick_mccaw 5 years ago

      Crain is tempting, though Rauch wouldn’t be bad either.

    • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

      And guess where Crain was born? Toronto…

      I’d over stressed this, but three of my guys, Farina, Trystan, and Danny are ML Ready and will give the team something to think about come the end of spring training. It sure would have been nice to see Tim Collins closing out games for the Jays (the next Billy Wagner) but I’m happy with Yunel.

      I wonder if the Jays will make any attempts to acquire a closer or just look from within which is certainly find with me. They could also make trades just to bolster the pen and find a closer during Spring Training or the first month of the Seasaon.

      I like the idea Leo Nunez…Whoa, I REALLY LIKE THE IDEA OF LEO NUNEZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Hits & Gigs 5 years ago

    aww there goes the aKKountant

  3. iains 5 years ago

    Now that is a surprise. Gregg outperformed expectations too. Potentially 3 vets gone from the pen.

    • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

      Bastian did also have an article on the pen possibly going on a younger route. Relievers are generally overrated and are far easily more replaceable than all other positions minus, bench reserves. I now sort of expect to see Mills take over as the swing-man and have Purcey in the 7th or 8th inning with Rzepczynski in there too.

      Downs should be gone, possibly with Frasor too.

    • boyofsummer 5 years ago

      Four, if you count Tallet. But you wouldn’t.

    • boyofsummer 5 years ago

      Four, if you count Tallet. But you wouldn’t.

  4. I guess the Blue Jays can forget about that ad campaign involving Kevin Gregg and Tums…

  5. TheodoreRoosevelt 5 years ago

    Woah. That is very surprising. Can’t say I’ll miss the rollercoasters, but pound-for-pound he put up decent numbers.

  6. What kind of bullpen will the Jays have coming back? Will they even offer arby to Gregg, Downs, and Frasor? All are decent options for a club looking for bullpen help.

    • TheBunk 5 years ago

      It’s a deep market, the Jays could very well recreate the entire back end of their bullpen. More than likely though I think Downs/Gregg depart and Frasor accepts arb.

    • Sniderlover 5 years ago

      I think Frasor will stick but Downs will likely sign somewhere else.

      Jays can always sign Type B relievers and it wouldn’t cost a pick and AA has said he likes the trade route better than the FA route so there is a possibility of trading for a young reliever.

    • patrick_mccaw 5 years ago

      Why wouldn’t they? All would likely decline, and Downs and Frasor would be worth whatever an arbitrator gave them.

  7. TheBunk 5 years ago

    Bravo, thank you AA for not being a slave to save perception. Gregg is a replaceable reliever who could net the Jays a sammy pick in a really deep draft.

  8. rpriske 5 years ago

    I’m surprised. Not that Gregg is irreplaceable, but now they have to replace the last three guys in the bullpen.

  9. Sniderlover 5 years ago

    I’m not surprised. I was just waiting for this to pop up for days. =P

    Did a good job but he is what he is, inconsistent and I’m not sure if he can continue to pitch like he did this year (which was filled with walks).

  10. Perfect candidate for the Tigers.

  11. braincapers 5 years ago

    This give A.A more options “We’re going to have take chances at times and make moves that may open us for criticism, but we also have to look at the upside of the moves. They may backfire and may not work, but if they hit, we’re going to do really well. Be prepared for this to happen soon.

  12. little shocked.. all talks earlier seemed like they were going to keep him around.. Not a bad call though, he did cause countless heart attacks with his very high BB rate.. wonder if they are looking at turning purcey into the closer, although he will probably replace downs.. perhaps, and one could only hope, mcgowan is healthy enough to handle a lighter work load as a closer =D

  13. Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

    Just when I was starting to get used to the white-knuckled 9th’s.

    AA seems to have found a way to rebuild through free agency, and the method is working so far.

  14. I don’t know if this was a good move. 750k buy out means keeping Gregg really only costs 3.75m. How many experienced relievers out there cost less than this figure?

    Toronto doesn’t have that many options internally and it’s not going to make sense to trade prospects for relievers at this point.

    • Sniderlover 5 years ago

      Correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t the signing for 2million with 750K buyout making it 2.75?

      There will be a few non-tender and FA that they can sign for a closer spot, you don’t always have to go internally. I wouldn’t worry about it.

      • I think he was referring to how much it would cost to pick up the ’11 option.

        Regarding your other point, I think you are bang on.

  15. Fullmer_Fan 5 years ago

    Toronto has a ton of options internally. You just aren’t looking close enough.

    • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

      Magnuson, Farina, Farquahar…As good as it gets. I watched all of them pitch this summer and they are awesome. Magnuson is my favorite because he has pinpoint control and reminds me a lot of a right handed Sean Marshall (of ’10)…Farina and Farquahar are just K machines with good stuff.

      • moonraker45 5 years ago

        span.. do you think’ they’ll consider moving stewart in to close? realistically he will prob be the odd man out of the rotation..

        perhaps they have him up here for a few years in the pen before moving him back to the rotation

        • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

          He will definetly be given a shot in the Jays rotation and if he does fine like most expect, then he stays. After 2 or 3 seasons if they see him as a closer, then they’ll move him. But he’s definetly starter for now and an above average one. But they need to get him out of New Hampshire because he’s almost 25.

  16. Gregg is a decent enough reliever but he’s tagged as a “closer” because he was in the right place at the right time. He’s an example of an interchangeable part, someone who can fill any role in a bullpen but was lucky enough to get saves one season and therefore labeled as a closer. He’s already made more money off that title than he would have otherwise so I don’t feel bad about his option getting declined, he’ll probably get more than a standard reliever in his next contract too. Kudos to him for holding up will north of the border but caveat emptor to whoever signs him to protect their leads.

    • TapDancingTeddy 5 years ago

      Over the past 4 years Gregg’s 121/26 record of saves to blown saves will get him some money. But a 3.79 ERA and 1.295 WHIP over the past four years says you’re right about him. He’s a closer because he’s gotten saves, not because he’s a shutdown pitcher, or especially suited for the role.

      • Yeah, his save percentage isn’t bad but I chalk that up more to the fact that almost any descent reliever could save games rather than Gregg being dominant in the ninth inning. To me that’s why saves are overrated. Again, nothing against Gregg, he did the job, but there were probably 2-3 other relievers in most bullpens that could do the same thing.

        • cubfan4life 5 years ago

          Thats why ex was expendable in FLA, Chicago and now Toronto. He is kinda like Octavio Dotel, solid middle reliever who happened to get thrown into the closer role due to lack of a better option and had enough success to be lumped into that description.

          Not a bad guy or a bad pitcher other than the fact that he will make a manager go grey by pitching in the 9th. He will find a job somewhere perhaps on a team that has inexperienced in-house options (Seattle, Tampa, Milwaukee) or a non contender that can use him for trade bait at the deadline (Washington, Pittsburgh, Arizona)

  17. As a Blue Jays fan… Gregg made for some SCARY 9th innings. But it had a decent year.

    • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

      Watching Gregg pitch in the 9th is like watching a train wreck. You want to turn away but you wanna see how bad it gets.

      Can’t complain too much though, he kept the ball in the park despite his year with the Cubs, and his 3.57 FIP is respectable.

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